BERLIN, Germany- Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watkze has hit back at ‘sick’ claims in the German media that the Bundesliga leaders are enduring a ‘crisis’ after surrendering a five-point lead.
“When you see how Dortmund’s fans celebrated with their team after the games against Leipzig and Frankfurt, it’s clear there is a very different mood at the club,” fumed Watzke.
“I am struggling to understand the way we are being covered. That is sick.”
Dortmund’s five-point lead at the top of the table evaporated within a week after losing 3-2 to RB Leipzig and throwing away a two-goal lead in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.
German daily Bild claims Dortmund are in ‘crisis’, with head coach Peter Bosz under pressure for using an attack-minded 4-3-3 formation which often leaves holes in defence.
“The Bosz discussion is schizophrenic!,” fumed director of sport Michael Zorc in Bild.
“It’s ridiculous that our coach should come into question even though we’re top of the table.”
Holders Dortmund are at third-division Magdeburg on Tuesday in the second round of the German Cup where a convincing win will boost confident.
The ‘crisis’ claims are arguably wide of the mark, but Dortmund are struggling.
They are winless in their last three games as their draw at Frankfurt, where they fielded a make-shift defence, came after an error-strewn 1-1 draw at APOEL in the Champions League, which followed the home defeat to Leipzig.
Star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has failed to score in his last two games.
With just one point in three Champions League games so far, Dortmund are facing an early exit and already trail Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur by six points in Group H.
In the Bundesliga, defending champions Bayern Munich are now level on 20 points and second only on goal difference, following their scrappy 1-0 win in Hamburg, while third-placed Leipzig trail Dortmund by just a point.
“Bayern didn’t play better against Hamburg than we did against Frankfurt, they just had more luck in their match,” added Watzke.
“Our games against Leipzig and Frankfurt were spectacular, which is what the spectators want to see.
“It’s what drives them into the stadiums.
“In the Bundesliga, there is a lot of tension, yet you’d think from the mood in the media that we are about to be relegated.”
Yet the second-half in Frankfurt was ugly viewing for Dortmund fans.
Goals by Dortmund midfielders Nuri Sahin and Maximilian Philipp were wiped out in a four minute spell by Frankfurt.
Eintracht’s French striker Sebastian Haller netted a penalty before Marius Wolf equalised.
Frankfurt’s midfield, let by Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng got the better of their Dortmund counterparts, which meant Dortmund resorted to trying to find Aubameyang with long balls.
Germany midfielder Mario Goetze was the best Dortmund player in Frankfurt and Watzke says he saw ‘very, very positive signs’.
However, only a dominant display at Magdeburg will boost confidence with Dortmund hosting Bayern in a key Bundesliga showdown on November 4.